By Richard Kent, Staff Reporter
NEW YORK — Naomi Osaka, the defending U.S. Open and 2021 Australian Open champion, is the No. 3 seed at Flushing Meadows and will defend her title in a night match on Monday’s opening day of the tourney.
Osaka also won the Open in 2018, but has had a difficult time since Melbourne. She withdrew from the French Open after winning her first round match after she announced that she would not be attending press conference and was hit with a fine.
She also withdrew from Wimbledon before even playing a match.
She played in the Olympics in Tokyo in August for Japan and made it to the third round. Osaka sat for a very open and revealing press conference at the US Open on Friday and admitted that “there’s a lot of things that I did wrong in that moment” regarding the French Open media debacle.
Clearly, she miscalculated the magnitude of her decision and the criticism which she would receive from certain circles of the media and public.
Osaka has the game to be the first repeat Open champion since Serena Williams in 2014.